Refreshing a Design Story
The John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics was looking to shake things up in their annual report design. The report was distributed to the upper administration at Washington University in St. Louis and supporters and contributors of the Center. The report was used to provide information about the events and work the Center accomplished in the past year and share information about the prestigious faculty the Center had employed. They had a design template they had been using for five years, simply inputting new copy each year before distribution. They were looking for a new agency to put a fresh spin on the annual report design.
Ballyhoo had a long-term relationship with the Center and Washington University in St. Louis. The client was impressed with the other projects we had completed for them in the past and wanted us to be in the mix of proposals.
The Center wanted a change from the current look, tone and feel (LTF) of the annual report design. They wanted a refreshed design that would be on-brand and play off the event collateral that Ballyhoo had designed the previous year. The annual report design was to be an evolution of the event collateral designs and continue the Center’s visual brand story.
Ballyhoo has years of annual report design experience. Our expertise with organizing complex material to help tell a story was a great support to the project. In the proposal stage, we examined past annual reports and included our thoughts on how the content and story could evolve in the new report design and how we could add value.
Context Designed to Connect
Ballyhoo created a design that included content reorganization and strategic concepts. The old annual report was a straightforward book with bios and information about classes and contributors. It included generic quotes and section headings without any context regarding how it related to the content.
We came to the table ready to show the connection between the Center and faculty, students, contributors and the public. We wanted to tell a story of the connection throughout the report, to incorporate meaningful quotes that were tied to the content of the section and add context to these areas to tell a cohesive story rather than just separate sections included in a book. As an example, we renamed the People section Dynamic Leaders and included an introduction that outlined how this group of people guides the Center’s work, the prestige within the department, etc. We also added an At-A-Glance spread that addressed information for the audience at the beginning of the report to draw them in to read more.
Our client couldn’t have been happier with the final product: